Politics, God and Religion vs. Science

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jogill

climber
Colorado
May 20, 2013 - 11:50am PT
All I can guess is that readers and posters here are armchair science proponents, perhaps never actually having done any of it themselves professionally

On the other hand the readers and posters here supporting [consciousness+quantum flux] are clearly professionals who know their business, albeit on another and superior astral plane.

I mean, this stuff is out there--and in volumes! By the hundreds. I'd say it's just about a well-known FACT (and I don't say that lightly).

So is Donald Duck.


;>)
MikeL

climber
SANTA CLARA, CA
May 20, 2013 - 02:05pm PT
So, I pointed to an articulate, supported, credible, empirically based view that Largo has been trying to present, and I don't think that people read or understood it. No problem. I shouldn't have offered it, I guess.

Being a scholar means you are more interested in truth than yourself (which includes your own beliefs, material objectives, power, image, and ego). It's a profession and calling that hardly serves anyone who is not also interested in the Truth.

Being a technologist or a technician, who knows something about a technical field, is not the same thing. Technologists and technicians have material objectives, personally oriented commitments and roles, and who appear to overlook what is true and real for what is pragmatic, practical, and functional (by their points of view). Scholarship and science-for-science's sake barely has any practical, pragmatic value whatsoever. You gotta give everything to it--mainly yourself. You really have to let go and let the data do the talking.

If you don't like arm-chair scientist, how about dilettante? How about amateur? How about I-don't-do-it-for-a-living? How about I didn't have any significant training (but gosh I'm really interested!!)?

The search for truth is something one must make a commitment to over EVERY OTHER THING. You must be willing to give up your life for it, because that's what it will probably take to gain it. Those who show that kind of commitment invariably find themselves being very prudent, circumspect, paying attention to minute details, understand what can and cannot be done properly (e.g., the difference between proof and falsification), how models are built, what concepts are, how they get formed, what use they are, when not to use them, empiricism, what numbers mean, and on and on. They must. Their professional survival depends upon it. Their peers will eat them alive otherwise.

I have yet to find / read any peer-reviewed article which ever made the claim as to the sure existence of any concept or any thing. It just doesn't happen. It would be foolish to say such things. The best research studies say that a empirically based theory suits the data better than another empirically based theory. That's it. The rest, as Werner says, is pure speculation.

Standing to the side of a conversation and kibitzing is enjoyable and a casual form of entertainment--much as we do here.
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
May 20, 2013 - 04:59pm PT
So, I pointed to an articulate, supported, credible, empirically based view that Largo has been trying to present, and I don't think that people read or understood it. No problem. I shouldn't have offered it, I guess.

Lanza may be articulate, but his personal take on the Anthropic Principle is hardly new, is not 'supported' outside of any other proponent arguments for the same, is no more credible than any other such AP assertions of which there are many, and his was met at the time with no lack of criticism.

And really, when you get to the heart of it - if consciousness is really the root of existence - then why bother with a physical universe and 'life' at all? Boredom? Art? I mean what would possibly be the point?

It's just 'god' wrapped in another guise as far as I'm concerned and attracts personality types who absolutely have to have answers for every question and a non-random cause for every effect (which I find quite ironic).
Don Paul

Big Wall climber
Colombia, South America
May 20, 2013 - 05:25pm PT
Let's see, our mind pulls two (oops, we're not even at one yet) "objects" out of the QSF, and forms a correlation between them that we then label "1", so it's not the "single" object, but the correlation between "objects" that is seen as "1".

jogill, I think you're onto something here. The concept of 2 had to come before the concept of 1. No doubt the first math problems involved counting similar objects. You wouldn't think of that if you only had one object. 1, 2, 3 ... the assumption here is that you have 3 identical things, which almost always means you've glossed over the differences between them.

Ward, a lawyer with a guilty client doesn't get endless time in court to insist on his case. His best strategy is usually to negotiate the best plea he can.
jogill

climber
Colorado
May 20, 2013 - 05:47pm PT
I have yet to find / read any peer-reviewed article which ever made the claim as to the sure existence of any concept or any thing. It just doesn't happen. It would be foolish to say such thing.

Most peer-reviewed papers in mathematics do precisely that, presenting the proofs of the theorems which are judged by fellow mathematicians to be correct. In this sense mathematics is very much a social endeavor. But in the experimental sciences "theory" is possibly ephemeral and may be altered as time goes by.

But if you believe that all is illusion or maya, then at some point the very foundations of logic might change. We've discussed the peculiar variations on the rules of logic that QM seems to require.

As always, interesting ideas, MikeL.
Jingy

climber
Somewhere out there
May 20, 2013 - 08:52pm PT
The Earth rotates once in 24 hrs. And traverses the Sun once a year. Our construct of numbers is just a representation of the Universe's preciseness.

 And if there were no humans to make these and other observations… Where would that precision be?


Tell me something precise about Mars (something we've heard about in the news lately) or pluto… Hell…. pick any planet around any star in our galaxy and tell me about its relative precision…


Haven't got any… mostly because we haven't been there to register the precious precision… It may be there… but it doesn't need anyone to come along to say so..


Just like earth.
MH2

climber
May 20, 2013 - 09:03pm PT
Being a scholar means you are more interested in truth than yourself


You need more than just an interest in the truth, however fervent; you need a way to separate truth from assertion that your peers can agree on. Mathematics has axioms, postulates, and deductive reasoning. Science has theory and experiment to test theory. What do you have?
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
May 20, 2013 - 11:02pm PT
And back on earth.....

Anybody know how to get a hold of base 104 and see how he survived the tornado?

Edit:

Base 104 just posted to Facebook and he's ok. As anticipated he was out chasing the storm which is the most impressive he says, of the 200 some he has followed. He got home ok but his truck took a beating from flying debris.
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
Potemkin Village
May 21, 2013 - 11:11am PT
Times have changed.

Haven't heard even one report in the last 24 hours of ANYONE of influence attributing this deadly violent tornado to God (Jehovah) - or to His plan or to His wrath. This would not have been the case even ONE generation (25 years) ago here in America. This is enheartening.

A science of dysectics (why bad things happen) is being developed, fleshed out. As it matures, it will bring even more change at the expense of "traditional forms."

.....

Cintune, you might enjoy...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N8Xkdf4q0e4
cintune

climber
The Utility Muffin Research Kitchen
May 21, 2013 - 10:20pm PT
That was interesting. Watched it with my wife, whose comment was, "He seems kind of shallow. I was expecting to actually learn something new, but he just has this open-ended theory." Guess maybe she'll change her tune when he finally builds his qualiascope.
jogill

climber
Colorado
May 21, 2013 - 11:55pm PT
Giulio Tononi seems open to the idea that consciousness may be more fundamental than the existence of physical objects, and thus might "create" them out of the "dust" JL mentioned. Wonder how that could be tested?


edit: my question was tongue-in-cheek
Crazy John

Trad climber
California
May 22, 2013 - 12:05am PT
A buddy of mine who was deeply philosophical (and a pool hustler) once told me "if you believe that the stars control your life, then they do."

We are biologically impelled to believe in higher beings, cause religion was tribal, we were tribal, and if you didn't get with the program, you were toast. Or as they say, not reproductively successful. Which is the crux of evolution.

It simply isn't possible to debate God/religion vs Science, because one is accepted on faith, and the other is empirical. You cannot empirically prove OR disprove god. You either believe or you don't.

So it doesn't matter to me what people believe, as long as I don't have to believe it too. If there is a god, then he is a mean, vindictive son-of-a-bitch who is not worthy of worship. If there isn't, then it's clear that the universe could give a rat's ass whether we continue to exist or not, or if our existence is pleasant for us or not. Either way, we are on our own.

Nest time my buddy Jesus drops in, we are going to have a beer and talk this thru.
MH2

climber
May 22, 2013 - 12:07am PT
Giulio Tononi

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Integrated_Information_Theory



edit

It seems he considers consciousness as a property of physical systems that process information, but he gets more specific than that.

Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
May 22, 2013 - 12:42am PT
Although I totally disagree with Giulio Tononi on many points, I do understand his thoughts will never be very satisfactory to people wanting a packaged deal with all the numbers attached. Not going to happen with consciousness, you can be sure about that. Sure, with objective functioning, which is really what Tononi is talking about for the most part.

Anyhow, people keep back channeling me about the discursive mind discussion, being flumoxed but what is being said.

One way to see that the discursive mind is just a tool, and is not "you," is to simply ask yourself what your discursive mind is providing you per your own experience. And what's more, what are other parts of you providing (feelings, memories, sensations, instinctual responses, etc.) Next, and this is key, observe how you relate to the various info streams that enter your experience, from thinking/evaluating, to feeling, to instincts, etc.

The next part is amazing if you can do the first part and deal with the impatience of your evalauating mind demanding an answer.

JL
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
May 22, 2013 - 12:49am PT
Giulio Tononi seems open to the idea that consciousness may be more fundamental than the existence of physical objects, and thus might "create" them out of the "dust" JL mentioned. Wonder how that could be tested?

It can't be tested . This is why elements of information theory are always perpetually a theory.

Beginning in the 1950s, a major change occurred in the field of Psychology that has come to be known as the Cognitive Revolution. The cognitive revolution took form as what is now known as “Cognitive Psychology”. This field of psychology had freed itself from the behaviorist views that were dominant in the 1950s. It wanted to look at the “interior” mental processes, rather than the observable “exterior” views that behaviorism held. This revolution had a huge impact on theory and research in the field of psychology, as well as many other disciplines, such as human-computer interaction, human factors and ergonomics. Overall, information-processing models helped reestablish internal thought processes as a legitimate area of scientific research.

The shift of emphasis to 'internal thought processes' was where the growth industry would begin after the demise of behaviorism.
Now all these years later we learn that internal cognition and processing are essentially responsible for external objects.
Hmmm.
Am I misinterpreting ?



Ward Trotter

Trad climber
May 22, 2013 - 01:19am PT
Excellent Nova special on Neanderthals.

An on-going controversy has been swirling around for years about the primary reason for the extinction of Neaderthals.
Most Neanderthal experts now believe that these close cousins of ours were actually out-competed by humans and then genetically absorbed.

MH2

climber
May 22, 2013 - 01:23am PT
Maybe JL could take up his objections to Tononi's ideas with the man himself? It isn't necessary that one is right and the other wrong. Both may hold an important handle on the truth. I think JL is too quick to dismiss.

The Wikipedia entry on Integrated Information Theory says:

It is impossible for you to see the world apart from all of the information that you are conscious of. When you are looking at an orange, for example, you cannot separate the color of the fruit (orange) from its shape (round).


Maybe it is possible to see something apart from all of the information that you are conscious of. That seems to be one way to put what JL claims of his meditation experience. To me it doesn't seem impossible to separate the color of a fruit from its shape, but the Wikipedia entry is brief and doesn't give one a lot to go on.
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
May 22, 2013 - 01:27am PT
Now all these years later we learn that internal cognition and processing are essentially responsible for external objects.


I wold say - yes. You have it slightly wrong. Internal processing "objectifies" things into discrete dimensions and properties. The limit of this is that our internal processing cannot objectify consciousness, only processing and content. In fact, our discursive minds can't even grasp "mind" in the broad sense and has almost no capacity to deal with process (NOT processing or data crunching).

This is the reason you let the mind get still if you want to test it and see what's going on. Yes, you can test it, but you can't measure it like a thing. The moment you do, you're dealing with processing and no long with mind.

JL
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
May 22, 2013 - 02:23am PT
I wold say - yes. You have it slightly wrong. Internal processing "objectifies" things into discrete dimensions and properties. The limit of this is that our internal processing cannot objectify consciousness, only processing and content. In fact, our discursive minds can't even grasp "mind" in the broad sense and has almost no capacity to deal with process (NOT processing or data crunching).

Well okay I'm here to learn.
What I have learned from your particular brand of subjective experience is that it is not defined by the usual cognitive processes that we utilize by default in our attempts to understand the world we live in.
It is a specialized and discrete form of experience with a single portal, namely a technique of mind, that allows one to experience existence in a way cleared of objective entities and the thinking that attends them. It is better described as a "process " that is unfolding in real time within your experience and yet not localized at any particular point.
jogill

climber
Colorado
May 22, 2013 - 01:48pm PT
However, if consciousness (i.e., integrated information) exists as a fundamental property, an equally valid view of the universe is this: a vast empty space that contains mostly nothing, and occasionally just specks of integrated information (Φ)—mere dust, indeed—even there where the mass-charge–energy perspective reveals huge conglomerates

Consciousness as Integrated Information: a Provisional Manifesto

I would say - yes. You have it slightly wrong. Internal processing "objectifies" things into discrete dimensions and properties

What are "things?"
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